Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Unvarying Melancholy

What shall I write for the blog?

So 19 more days until I come home. wow. I can’t believe I’m leaving.

As excited as I am to come home and see everyone (and eat a bagel) I am so scared and sad to leave.

I’m scared because I feel like there is still so much left to do. I have a little more then 3,000 right now but I want more then anything to get up to $5,000 before I leave. I feel like if I can do that then all this will have been worth it and I can really be proud. My friend ATL keeps telling me to come to Nairobi early and leave the mission because I’ve already raised enough. Partly that’s because he can’t understand how someone could stand living out here but also because I don’t think he understands how important this is to me.

I’m not sure why the water project became so important to me, why it became my “thing”, but it has. And now I won’t be able to rest until I can get it done. I feel like if I can get to $5000 I will be able to take a deep breathe and calm down a bit, but I’m not sure what to do next or where to turn for this last bit. I’ll take any suggestions.

And then the reasons I am sad are probably pretty obvious.

Just like it was hard for me to imagine moving out of Chicago and living here it is hard to imagine not living here anymore. I remember when I left Chicago I sort of felt like that with me gone my home town would just freeze over until I came back, so I guess that’s how I feel now.

I think that’s because as we get older and move into the newest phases of our lives we become afraid of losing the people and the places we loved so much and kept us so comforted. Maybe it’s not a feeling so much as a hope. I hope that the mission will freeze over so that Mama Michelle will always be here making Mandazi, Madame Grace will always be around for sage advice and Ian will never get any older (he is turning 6 this week).

When a place becomes your home like this it’s hard to separate yourself from it but more so it’s hard to imagine anyone else separate themselves from it. Sure there are people on the mission I might not like, some kids I think need more discipline, a cook I could live without, but I don’t want anyone to leave. I want to keep this place I have loved so much exactly the way it is with everyone just as I left them so I can return to it whenever I need to. When the world becomes too much I want to be able to return to my home the exact way I left it—full of love and comfort and laughter. Whether it’s here or Chicago I would like to superglue everything in place. I never want my parents to get older and I never want the seasons to change on the mission.

The problem is that things do change. They always have they always will. In this world, even in the parts we love so much it hurts us, nothing is static. A few years from now Father Patrick might be at a new mission, the teachers will have scattered and Peter and Ian will be on their way to secondary school.

That’s why people say you should always keep people and places in your heart so you can return to them mentally, and although it’s not the same it is helpful. For better or worse Madame Grace will now be the voice in my head telling me something is bad manners, Mama Michelle will be the laughter I associate with tea and Mandazi and peter is as much a member of my family as anyone else.

So here we are stuck between two worlds and pushed forward at a terrifying momentum. I saw "we" because this describes me perfectly but I think it also describes most of the people reading this. Whether it’s my parents being forced to deal with their upcoming “empty nesters status” or the friends who are around my age on their way to moving out; we are all being propelled forward. I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m not sure if I’m ready.

Except that’s not true. I am sure I’m ready (or at least as ready as I will ever be) and that I have been well prepared by everyone in my life for this new phase.

Thank you friends, parents, uncles, priests, seminarians, animals, sisters, brothers, students, ex-boyfriends, cousins, aunts, grand parents, teachers, and all others, thank you to strangers who showed kindness and friends who turned out to be less then honest. Thank you to all I have ever encountered because everything we did together has prepared me for the next moment of my life.

So although I’m sad because of the firmness with which you have been set in the past I am excited for the next phase. I am excited to turn back to the time when I thought I would die of heart break when the next boy shatters my heart, to remember the first days of our friendship as I reach out for new ones, to be comforted by our memories as I tread lightly into a new world. I am excited to hold hands with my past as I move into the future and really realize how important it is.

So what does the future hold? For now it holds a month back in Chicago and then a return flight to Nairobi. Some school registration and a few gen ed classes. Otherwise who knows?

For now I will concentrate on raising money and moving forward.

Remember, you are the pinnacle of all history at any given moment. The entire universe has led up to you.

Love you all!


P.S. I know this is kind of like the last one but it’s all that’s on my mind now a days.

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